Big change as Apple stores reopen

 

 

Australia will become one of just three countries with Apple Stores open to the public later this week after the tech giant announced plans to open all but one of its local outlets.

But the retail experience in Apple Stores will be very different during the coronavirus pandemic as customers will have their temperatures checked at the door, and will still be encouraged to buy online if possible.

They will, however, be able to have their devices repaired without posting them away.

Apple today confirmed it would reopen 21 of its Australian stores — every outlet except its flagship store in Sydney’s George Street that was currently undergoing renovations. Picture: Christian Gilles
Apple today confirmed it would reopen 21 of its Australian stores — every outlet except its flagship store in Sydney’s George Street that was currently undergoing renovations. Picture: Christian Gilles

The news comes days after some Australian states relaxed rules around "non-essential shopping" and almost two months after Apple closed all stores outside "greater China".

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the company took the unprecedented action "to prevent the spread of COVID-19".

But Apple today confirmed it would reopen 21 of its Australian stores - every outlet except its flagship store in Sydney's George Street that was currently undergoing renovations.

"We're excited to begin welcoming visitors back to our Australia stores later this week. We've missed our customers and look forward to offering our support," the company said in a statement.

"With many Australians working and learning from home, our initial focus will be providing service and support at the Genius Bar."

The move should significantly speed up Apple products repairs, as posting items to be fixed was taking "up to five business days". Australian customers will be able to make appointments at the Genius Bar from today.

The move should significantly speed up Apple products repairs. Picture: AP
The move should significantly speed up Apple products repairs. Picture: AP

But the reopened Apple Stores will come with conditions: shoppers will have their temperatures checked at the door, customer numbers will be capped in each store, and Apple will still encourage customers to "buy online for delivery or in-store pick up" rather than browsing.

Australia will be just the third country nation which Apple has opened its outlets, after China and South Korea. The nation currently has 864 active cases of COVID-19, including 27 new cases confirmed on Monday.

Originally published as Big change as Apple stores reopen



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